Most people have heard how important it is to have good posture, but few really know why. It’s about more than appearances. Good posture is linked to a number of benefits for both mental and physical health. In fact, it can improve confidence and energy while also reducing muscle tension and pain.
More specifically, improving posture has been found to reduce back pain. Though many individuals are quick to blame their back pain on age or an injury, bad posture can be a major culprit as well. In fact, bad posture is a widespread problem that impacts more than 31 million Americans, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Keep reading to learn more about why bad posture leads to back pain and some typical habits that can cause it.
The Connection Between Bad Posture and Back Pain
Poor posture has been confirmed to cause neuro-musculoskeletal pain because it is hard on the body’s muscles. It can impact the way that the spine aligns with both the neck and hips. As the alignment worsens, muscle tension increases because the body has to work certain muscles harder to maintain stability.
Individuals with poor posture have also been found to have weaker muscles because phasic fibers inside the muscles must be used to support the body. These fibers would typically be reserved for movement, but the instability of the body with poor posture requires the use of phasic fibers. When proper posture is maintained, the body can rely on static fibers because there is less movement. If phasic fibers are used instead of static fibers, the static fibers can weaken and lengthen over time.
The Connection Between Bad Posture and Disc and Joint Problems
Another permanent issue that can result from poor posture is disc injury and joint inflammation resulting in bones actually changing shape. This shape changing is in the form of bone spurs and degenerative arthritis which is irreparable to the spine and surrounding joints. Improper movements and pressures due to bad posture destroy disc integrity many times causing disc tears, bulges and possibly herniations.
Home Habits Causing Bad Back Pain
For many people, bad posture starts at home. It can be hard to notice, but there are many daily habits that could affect a person’s posture and you should seek a chiropractor for back pain relief. While it might be nice to just sit back and relax after a long day of work, even that could be causing back pain. In fact, the following are just a few things that the average person does that could be contributing to back issues and improper posture:
- Sitting on a soft surface for hours with no support
- Hunching over while doing chores such as dishwashing
- Vacuuming with one extended arm
- Stooping to scrub floors and surfaces
- Sleeping on unsupportive mattresses
How Work Environments Impact Posture and Back Pain
The average person spends about 1/3 of their life working. While some people might spend all of their time behind a desk, others might put their body through tough physical labor. In either case, work habits can also contribute to poor posture and long-term back pain. Much of a person’s back pain problems can be traced back to:
- Slouching over electronic devices
- Sitting for more than four hours at a time
- Holding a phone between the neck and ear
- Lifting heavy objects incorrectly
- Wearing unsupportive footwear
- Hunching over to focus on workspace
- Moving objects that are extremely heavy
Activities That Can Cause Bad Posture
Even when doing something fun, there is a risk of straining back muscles from poor posture. There are several leisure activities that have been connected to posture problems, and eventually, they lead to long-term back issues. Even something as relaxing as sitting on a bar stool and having a drink with friends can be hard on the body. Here are some additional examples of things that might contribute to a bad back:
- Playing sports without the proper footwear
- Pushing the body beyond comfortable speeds or intensities
- Shopping for hours without supportive shoes
- Twisting to get a better view of a performance
- Carrying multiple, heavy bags
How Chiropractic Care Can Improve Back Pain Caused by Bad Posture
Fortunately, not all hope is lost for those who struggle to change their habits. People can combat poor posture and back pain by including a new habit—visiting the chiropractor.
Chiropractic care is key to improving misalignments caused by poor posture. Adjustments can provide many people with short-term pain relief. However, they can also lead to long-term corrections when individuals seek ongoing care. An experienced chiropractor can help a patient develop an effective treatment plan based on their bad habits and specific pain points.
Learn More About How a Chiropractor Can Help with Bad Posture and Back Pain
Want to know more about how a chiropractor can help improve bad posture? Ready to schedule an adjustment to relieve some back pain? New patients are encouraged to contact Infinite Wellness Center. Their trained staff can provide more information and help patients schedule new appointments. The Glen Carbon office can be reached by phone or the simple online contact form.